“I am leaving, I am leaving, but the fighter still remains”

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Get it? Get it? It’s that Simon and Garfunkle song, The Boxer. That’s me! I’m the boxer! I packed two boxes this weekend, because "I am leaving, I am leaving."

…’s a stretch, isn’t it.

Two boxes isn’t much headway, but the weekend ain’t over yet. Plus I packed two other boxes full of books I’m gonna donate to the library.

Note to non-librarians: DO NOT TRY THIS YOURSELF. Libraries hate donations. You think you’re doing them a favor but you’re not. The librarians have to research each title to make a judgment call about whether it should be added. If it is added, the catalogers have to spend time cataloging it. If it isn’t, they can try to hock it at a booksale, and if that fails, they have to throw it out.

You wanna help out a library, donate money. You wanna give away your books, try a senior citizen’s home, or a prison. (The people there are captive readers, har har.)

I’m having a lot of moving anxiety, as anyone with a second-grade or better reading level could tell at a glance from my blog. I’m having anxiety dreams every night about the move and the job.

Most embarassing dream: I failed to discreetly pack my vibrator, so it was out in plain sight. Dad didn’t recognize what it was, picked it up, and then kenned on.

As expected, I already had the dream about showing up on the wrong day (yeesh, Id, that’s so cliche, I’m disappointed in you) and I had a dream wherein I moved to the wrong apartment and I’ve had plenty of dreams where my new coworkers realize I’m a fraud.

I had the same anxieties prior to my current job, but at least back then I didn’t know who my coworkers would be. I distinctly recall a dream in which Britney Spears was a librarian. That’s more absurd than frightening. But this time around, I know two of my to-be-coworkers fairly well, and I have a passing acquaintance with a few others. Each night my psyche draws on these known entities and methodically makes an ass of me in front of them.

I am slightly mollfied by some reassuring words from Joyce, arguably the coolest librarian out there. (Let’s call her the coolest retired librarian out there; that way I don’t have to pick between her and Kaite.)

"Melvil’s so lucky to get you!" she said. What a great lady. Not "you’re so lucky to be going there," but "they’re so lucky to snag you." Remind me to send her a really nice Christmas gift.

I’m nervous about the new job, sure, but there are a few specific points I am not worried about. Maybe I can stretch it into ten points… yeah, here we go:

Top Ten Things I’m Not Worried About Concerning The New Job

1. In my first week on the job, HR director will ask me, and I quote, "So where do you go to church?"

This really happened. She assumed A) that I had a faith, that B) that faith was of a Christian variety, and C) that I attended services as part of this Christian faith. Oh, and D), that it was appropriate to ask me about A) through C).

I’ll post my views on religion some other time, but for now all you need to know is that I do not go to church. There are a variety of reasons for this, but here’s the most compelling one for a person living in Franklin: there are two main church options, Baptist and Southern Baptist.

2. Also in the first week on the job the technology director will engage me in a debate over whether homosexuality is a sin.

…there I was, trying to make a good impression and all, but feeling personally attacked. Though really I shouldn’t have taken it personally. I still don’t think the lady realizes I’m not straight.

3. I will have to fight with my director to purchase a copy of Genreflecting. ("But it’s so expensive!")

In fact, lemme check right now…. Yep. They’ve got two copies of the most recent edition, as well as several of the older editions.

4. My director will call Publishers Weekly, quote, "a waste."

5. My director will quake when I ask to acquire Booklist (very cheap, compared to PW… she finally capitulated.)

6. Ditto that on Reference & User Services Quarterly.  (Director did not capitulate. Had to take out a personal membership. Do I look like I’m made out of money? Do I?)

7. I won’t be able to get a decent haircut within an hour’s drive.

8. Director will tell me that my Zane pathfinder was a waste of time.

9. In same conversation, director will have the hubris to tell me that if she doesn’t know who Zane is, the customers won’t.

10. Vast majority of coworkers will turn green when I bring in foods completely foreign to them, to wit: couscous, tabouli, hummus, and– this is the kicker– barley. I grant you the other dishes are Middle Eastern and/or African, but people and livestock alike have been eating barley on North America since… since… well for a very long time.

And 11, as an encore: I will have to educate all of my coworkers, including the director, as to what NoveList is, and why it’s nifty that I write for them.

And what the hell, 12: I will get no mentoring or guidance concerning professional avenues such as service on committees or professional publication.

When I asked my director if I should do either of the above, she said no, there was no real reason to.

The totally bizarre thing is, I’d like to serve on committees at a state or national level, and I’d like to write for a professional journal. In library school I swore to myself that I would never write professional library literature. By and large it is dry and uninspired. I have too much self worth to contribute anything to IP&M or American Archivist. Got better things to do with my time, ya know?

But while on the job I’ve discovered there are some professional issues I’d like to talk about it, and honey, fiction-l just ain’t cuttin it. Getting that group to discuss an actual topic is harder than killing fleas. (My posts to that listserv have generated a lot of very cool off-list discussion with enlightened individuals, though. Yay!)

Still have not figured out how to go about writing for cool journals, or how to get libraries in exotic places to invite me as a paid guest lecturer, or how to get myself on a panel discussion at a conference, but in a few short weeks I’ll have some knowledgeable co-workers to pump for information.


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